Tuesday, March 13, 2007
April Fools' Day - More Anecdotes On Real Life Fools
Here's some more real - life anecdotes on April Fools' tomfoolery!

John Kallam's Qualifications -

Colonel John Kallam served for 20 years in the US Army from late 1930s to late 1950s. Having done BA in criminology, he had an illustrious profile as an investigator during the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals, organizing civilian police forces in Germany in the post-war era for several years and writing a number of books on criminal justice. After retiring from military service, he joined as a lecturer in the Fresno State College of California that later came to be known as the California State University, Fresno. He naturally taught criminology and his experience made him an able teacher and earned him respect that he deserved. Yet, after ten years of service, the president of the college asked him to update his qualifications with a postgraduate degree, as a bachelor's degree was not enough anymore to teach in a prestigious college with changing times.

He even rubbed off that it was only due to his 20 years of experience and distinguished record that he was allowed a concession to continue only with a 'master's' degree rather than the doctorate degree, which was necessary for other faculty members. John Kallam was not too pleased of course. Yet, he got enrolled in a summer program at an out of state college that required three months of intensive seminars and then nine months of home study to earn him the degree of MA. Yet the biggest irony happened on the very first day of his class as a student in this summer program. When the instructor was taking roll, the instructor paused at his name and asked him that was he related somehow to John Kallam, the author of the textbook they were about to use. Just imagine his surprise on receiving the dry response that John Kallam, the author of the textbook he was about to use, was sitting in his class, to be taught from the very same book to earn a 'degree' deemed necessary to prove his qualifications!

John Partridge's Demise -

Jonathan Swift, the famous satirist, played an elaborate joke on the famous astrologer known as John Partridge. In February 1708, he assumed a pseudonym Isaac Bickerstaff, a rival astrologer of Partridge, who suddenly made an appearance in London by publishing an almanac in which Partridge's death was predicted on 29th March of that year and the fever was to be the cause of his demise. Partridge was outraged and persistently denied any substance in the prediction but the pamphlet published on 30th March by Bickerstaff confirmed that his prediction had indeed turned out to be true.

By 1st of April, everyone had heard of the event and a sexton arrived at Partridge's home to enquire of any orders for his funeral sermon. The effect was so complete that people get almost shocked when they saw him in flesh and many took him to be a walking ghost. Some people even approached him to tell him that he looked exactly like someone they knew but was now dead. John Partridge could never shake off the reputation of being a dead man for the rest of his life. Finally, Partridge had to stop publishing his almanacs because he couldn't convince people that the prediction about him was just an April Fool spoof!

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posted by Gerry at Tuesday, March 13, 2007 ¤ Permalink ¤